Wellness on Wheels
Every child deserves to enjoy their childhood to the fullest, without conditions like asthma holding them back. But despite many available treatments, asthma is a leading cause of kids missing out on school and activities. In Orange County, around 40% of students with asthma miss five days of school or more annually. Many of these kids lack access to the healthcare that could get them back to what they do best — being kids.
At CHOC, we saw this gap in accessible pediatric asthma care firsthand, including in Orange County’s underserved neighborhoods. To bridge this gap, we developed Wellness on Wheels (WoW, or Salud Móvil), a mobile multilingual clinic focused on testing, diagnosing, treating and managing asthma and related health conditions in children. Our state-of-the-art WoW vans are fully equipped to deliver asthma care wherever it’s needed most. Staffed by a team of CHOC doctors, nurses, licensed clinical social workers, community health workers and patient care representatives, kids and families can build strong, long-term relationships with familiar asthma care providers. Our team can also recommend or connect patients to related specialists, healthcare services and wellness resources in the community.
We know you want the best possible care for your child’s asthma. Our expert team with WoW is dedicated to helping your child breathe freely and enjoy being a kid without compromise.
Advancing asthma treatment in communities
Wellness on Wheels is a pioneering mobile healthcare service for pediatric asthma care and other wellness initiatives. As an evolution of CHOC’s Breathmobile program, which began in 2002 in partnership with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, WoW goes beyond the prevention and treatment of asthma symptoms. We also provide holistic health services to support your child’s overall wellness, as mental health, obesity, environment and access to community resources can affect asthma symptoms. We aim to help improve your child’s well-being and respiratory health while providing the essential tools to thrive in childhood and beyond.
To ensure every family that needs these services can access them, WoW actively takes part in community engagement, education and outreach. We aim to empower all families with the resilience, knowledge and ability to navigate healthcare in Orange County. We understand that establishing trusted relationships with your care providers is essential. Our diverse team takes pride in reflecting and representing the very people we serve, which is key to building these lasting connections.
We have WoW staff fluent in English, Spanish and Tagalog. Additional translation services are also available for Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese and all other languages.
Conditions we treat
In California alone, nearly 1.6 million children live with asthma, a chronic lung condition that can make breathing difficult due to airways tightening, often after exposure to certain triggers. To ensure every child in Orange County has complete access to high-quality asthma care, Wellness on Wheels offers a comprehensive list of evaluations, tests, screenings, therapies and treatments, in addition to conditions related to asthma.
Services currently offered at WoW:
- Tests and Screenings
- History and physical exams
- Asthma control testing
- Pulmonary function testing
- FeNO testing (or Fraction exhaled nitric oxide testing)
- Medications: Metered dose inhalers (MDI)
- Dry powder inhaler (DPIs)
- Nebulizer solution
- Inhaled and oral corticosteroids
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists
- Education: aerochamber use, trigger mitigation and Asthma Action Plans
- Pulmonology referrals as needed
- Tests and Screenings
- History and physical exam
- Prevention education
- Creams and ointments
- Tests and Screenings
- Skin testing
- Blood testing
- Allergen/irritant avoidance
- Allergy/immunology referrals as needed
Is my child eligible for Wellness on Wheels?
All patients must be covered by Medi-Cal to receive treatment at Wellness on Wheels. If you don’t know if you are covered by Medi-Cal, the best way to determine your child’s eligibility for the Wellness on Wheels program is to call us directly. Our team will discuss various aspects such as symptoms, medical history and healthcare coverage. During this discussion, we will explore whether your child:
- Frequently misses school due to asthma symptoms
- Has difficulty participating in school and/or recreational activities due to breathing issues
- Regularly uses albuterol at school to relieve asthma symptoms
- Has been previously diagnosed with asthma
- Has no formal asthma diagnosis, but exhibits asthma-like symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath or wheezing
Call 714-509-7571 to see if you’re eligible for the WoW program.
What to expect in Wellness on Wheels asthma clinics
Setting up an appointment
Children are seen at the Wellness on Wheels clinic by appointment only, which can be scheduled after confirming program eligibility and receiving a referral. We cannot accommodate walk-ins. There are several ways for parents to receive a referral:
- Talk to your child’s primary care physician or school nurse about getting a referral to WoW.
- Attend a community event with a WoW representative or WoW clinic on-site. They can provide you with a screening to determine if your child meets the eligibility criteria.
- Parents and caregivers can self-refer. If you believe your child is experiencing asthma-related symptoms, reach out to us directly and we’ll see if your child is eligible for treatment at WoW.
After obtaining a referral to the Wellness on Wheels clinic, call us at 714-509-7571 to book your appointment.
At the appointment
When arriving for your first WoW visit, you’ll meet with a patient services representative. They will complete the intake process, introduce the clinic’s purpose and mission and conduct one or more social, wellness and/or mental health screenings to gain a complete view of your child’s overall health.
Next, your child will see a CHOC nurse who specializes in pediatric asthma care and who will provide a complete medical evaluation, including a physical examination, and additional testing, which may include:
- Pulmonary function tests
- Peak expiratory flow (PEF) tests
- Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) tests
- Skin tests for allergies
Based on the results, the physician or nurse practitioner may provide a formal diagnosis and offer in-depth education about the diagnosis, including symptom management. Then, they will create a personalized asthma action plan for your child, which may include:
- At-home therapies and treatments
- Allergen and environmental trigger reduction and avoidance
- Prescriptions for medications including inhalers and corticosteroids
- Exercise and nutrition plans
- Recommendations to community and wellness services
- Referrals to additional specialists
Our provider will then answer any questions, and the patient services representative will schedule a follow-up visit.
After the appointment
After your child’s first appointment, you can expect ongoing asthma care that goes beyond a single visit. While you’ll now have a personalized plan for at-home treatment tailored to your child’s unique needs, we will continue to offer guidance on therapies, track their progress and adjust their asthma care plan. We’ll also set up follow-up visits at your preferred WoW location and provide contact information so you can connect with our team anytime.
If your child could benefit from visiting doctors or medical specialists outside of WoW, we can make those referrals or offer recommendations to your primary care provider to ensure a seamless healthcare journey.
We believe that the best asthma care involves more than medical treatments alone. WoW can connect families to additional health, wellness and social services, such as nutrition and fitness education groups, community support and other great resources.
Contact Wellness on Wheels
Find a mobile WoW clinic near me
WoW visits many Orange County CHOC clinics, schools, school districts, community organizations, family resource centers, wellness events and other sites. Since we are a rapidly expanding program, we are always adding and visiting new WoW clinic locations. Contact us directly for our current schedule.
Donate to WoW
The WoW clinic exists thanks in large part to the incredible community support and philanthropic donations donated through the CHOC Foundation. If you would like to give to WoW, please donate through the CHOC Foundation donation page and designate your gift specifically for our program.
Volunteer with WoW
If you’re interested in volunteering with WoW, we have occasional opportunities for community members to get involved by promoting our services at health and wellness fairs, schools, community centers and food pantries. Call us at 714-509-7571 for more information.
Meat the Wellness on Wheels team
Linda Mendoza is a nurse practitioner and is a member of the CHOC Primary Care Network who treats kids and teens in Orange County.
Dr. Casilang is a member of the CHOC Medical Group and treats kids and teens in Orange County.